0-2

A back-and-forth between Sheila and Phi reminded me of a thought that I had earlier today and that I have from time to time:

There are two main goals in romantic relationships: sex and monogamy. If a girl wants a stable relationship, that can be a bit of a challenge. But sex is not so much. If a guy wants sex, well that’s a challenge. But if he wants a stable relationship without sex… well, that’s a challenge, too. Sex may be a poor bargaining chip, but guys don’t even have a similar weak-arse equivalent. We can’t say “I promise a sex-free relationship!” and expect to get one (even a temporary one until something better comes along) as easily as a woman can get a sexual partner by offering strings-free sex.

There’s no real solution to this dilemma and ultimate this isn’t a particularly deep or insightful thought (and not one original to me, I’m sure), but there ya go.


Category: Coffeehouse

About the Author


27 Responses to 0-2

  1. Linus says:

    I could be wrong here, but I think some women might argue that sex without a monogamous relationship is as unsatisfying for them as a monogamous relationship without sex might be for a man. Not to mention that men can fake monogamy, but women can’t exactly fake sex (orgasm maybe, but that’s different). Both genders have bargaining chips capable of generating misery in the other.

  2. trumwill says:

    Sheila has made a point similar to that before. Not necessarily sex outside of monogamy, but that a guy will enjoy “bad sex” (as in the unremarkable or dull kind, not morally bad) a lot more than the woman will.

    Even so, my point is not that a sexless relationship would be bad for a man, though it might and there are a lot of guys that would never submit to it, but that even if he was willing to forego sex altogether, it wouldn’t be of a whole lot of help when it came to getting a relationship. It would likely hurt his chances.

    Misery is indeed infinite. No argument there.

  3. Transplanted Lawyer says:

    I certainly agree with that point. Women aren’t looking for sexless men. Your typical person (male or female) is looking for a partner whose sex drives are roughly equivalent to his or her own.

  4. stone says:

    “We can’t say “I promise a sex-free relationship!” and expect to get one (even a temporary one until something better comes along) as easily as a woman can get a sexual partner by offering strings-free sex.”

    Sure they can. Guys complain all the time about being “used for friendship.” You know, the guy women “tell their problems to.” Women are much more receptive to having nonsexual male friends than men are to having such women friends.

  5. Peter says:

    Guys complain all the time about being “used for friendship.” You know, the guy women “tell their problems to.” Women are much more receptive to having nonsexual male friends than men are to having such women friends.

    Women LJBF men all the time, but if the reverse ever happens, it’s very, very rare.

  6. Kirk says:

    Regarding the post, all I can say is “huh?” I really don’t understand what you’re saying.

    Regardless, this seems relavant. According to the ABC News website, Tina Fey was a virgin until she was 24.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/slideshow?id=7389796

  7. Kirk says:

    Man: “You ladies have it easy! You can get laid any time you want, with minimal effort!”

    Woman (thinking): But I don’t want to get laid. Not really, anyway.

    Woman: “You guys have it easy! You can lose weight any time you want, with minimal effort!”

    Man (thinking): ButI don’t want to lose weight. Not really, anyway

  8. trumwill says:

    Sheila,

    I thought of that, but it’s not the same thing when you can’t call her your girlfriend, when you can’t reserve weekend nights to be spent with just the two of you, when you can’t do the other things that couples do.

  9. David Alexander says:

    but if the reverse ever happens, it’s very, very rare

    If you count non-date (who looks like Tina Fey), I’ve done it to three women.

  10. john says:

    “Women LJBF men all the time, but if the reverse ever happens, it’s very, very rare.”

    I have to say that I’ve tried to do this, and it really pisses chicks off. One of the unfortunate realities of the “Free Love” revolution is that turning down a woman’s sexual advances is a soul-crushing event. Some girls just won’t take no for an answer, and the rest never seem to get over it. Unfortunately, most of my friendships with women have ended this way. Of course all of these things also occur with men who are rejected by women, but in my experience men are more accustomed to it and don’t take it quite as personally.

  11. Peter says:

    There’s no real solution to this dilemma

    What would help is making LJBF’ing socially unacceptable. As things now stand a woman can tell her friends about the men she’s LJBF’ed and she will face no criticism. If it somehow became shameful, it might happen less often. Women would outright dump men they find unacceptable as sexual partners rather than string them along for months or even years. That would be far kinder in the long run.

    Because a social change of this sort is not likely to happen anytime soon, it’s up to men to protect themselves by cutting off all contact with the woman as soon as they hear those four dreaded words. Easier said than done, of course, especially since the men most likely to be LJBF’ed are those of low dating market value with few if any other options.

  12. trumwill says:

    This post really isn’t about LJBFism. I’ve been trying to figure out how LJBFism even fits into it. I wonder if you take LJBFing differently than I do. For me, it’s primarily a euphemism for “No, I won’t go on a date with you” or “I want to date other people or nobody at all just not you.”

    It sounds like you’re talking about what I call “We’ll See”, wherein a woman hangs out a relationship as a dangling carrot to get a guy to roll over and do tricks for her, which he does because he’s under the impression that he’s auditioning his relationship mettle. Then, of course, she runs off with a guy that hasn’t done jack for her.

    An infuriating situation. The price she pays generally ends up being the friendship and respect and affection of the guy involved. And the guilt of having hurt someone that she cares about (though in a way different than he wants her to care about him). There is a temptation on the part of the guy to believe that he never really did matter to her, of course, but if she didn’t care what you thought about her, she wouldn’t have gone through the whole song and dance in the first place.

    Anyway, the solution to all of this is that a guy needs to accept the phrase “We’ll see” as “In some other lifetime, perhaps.” It doesn’t mean it’ll *never* happen, but it means that its chances of becoming a relationship will paradoxically become better and not worse if you move on. And if you move on to improve your chances, you haven’t really moved on. And that the likelihood of it happening are pretty small. The likelihood of it happening in the circumstances that you want it to happen in are infinitesimal.

  13. ? says:

    Women are much more receptive to having nonsexual male friends than men are to having such women friends.

    Let me throw this out and see if it matches anybody else’s experience:

    Men are more receptive to having nonsexual friendships with women they are not attracted to than with women they are attracted to.

    Women, in contrast, are more receptive to having nonsexual friendships with men they are attracted to than men they are not attracted to.

  14. Peter says:

    Let me throw this out and see if it matches anybody else’s experience:
    Men are more receptive to having nonsexual friendships with women they are not attracted to than with women they are attracted to.

    For sure. A nonsexual friendship with a woman to whom the man is sexually attracted would be too frustrating. Perhaps an exception might apply if the man is married or otherwise involved with a woman.

    Of course, for most men, there aren’t too many women to whom they are not at least slightly sexually attracted, so this discussion exists more in theory than in fact 🙂

    Women, in contrast, are more receptive to having nonsexual friendships with men they are attracted to than men they are not attracted to.

    Absolutely. If a man’s a low Beta or an Omega, hardly any woman will want him anywhere in her presence. A woman’s far more likely to have a nonsexual friendship with a middle or upper Beta, in other words a man who’s not good enough to be a sexual partner but whose presence is otherwise tolerable.

  15. rob says:

    Peter,

    Are you saying women should be shamed for LJBFing men? or just that if they were shamed, they would do it less?

    If the first, why should they be shamed? I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking someone enought to be friends, but not enough to date them. I have a few a guy friends. I don’t wanna do any of them. I don’t think that’s a chacacter flaw even if they did want to.

    The LJBF problem is mostly on the guy end, hoping friendship will turn into more. I have certainly have done it too many times. One thing I got out of crush friendships is hope without getting out of my comfort zone to find a relationship prospect. Hope has a high hedonic value, but is easily confused with wishing.

    There is the issue of a woman who takes advantage of a hoverer. That I can see is shameworthy.

    Trumwill, I thought the “We’ll see” was just a woman who can’t give a straight-up no, or an (ineffective) way to let someone down gently. Is it usually a way to get someone to “try out”?

  16. trumwill says:

    Absolutely. If a man’s a low Beta or an Omega, hardly any woman will want him anywhere in her presence. A woman’s far more likely to have a nonsexual friendship with a middle or upper Beta, in other words a man who’s not good enough to be a sexual partner but whose presence is otherwise tolerable.

    Depends on the woman, apparently. I see meek East Asian guys regularly do pretty well with friendships with women that appear to be out of their league.

    According to Sheila, have a eunich man-friend is ideal. The problem with a woman having a friendship with a guy that she is completely unattracted to is that she has to worry about him being attracted to her. The worse off he is socially, the more likely that is to happen (if a guy doesn’t have access to many women, he is more likely to become attracted to whatever women are in his life).

    Guys don’t have to worry about this as much. Oh, she may develop a crush on him, but he can safely be flattered without fear that she will make a move.

  17. Peter says:

    There is the issue of a woman who takes advantage of a hoverer. That I can see is shameworthy.

    That’s really the situation I had in mind when I said that LJBF’ing should be blameworthy. Especially when the man is of low dating market value and has few options. If the woman is very clear upfront that the relationship will never become physical, and the man keeps hanging around, I suppose the woman isn’t doing anything wrong.

  18. trumwill says:

    Trumwill, I thought the “We’ll see” was just a woman who can’t give a straight-up no, or an (ineffective) way to let someone down gently. Is it usually a way to get someone to “try out”?

    The guy thinks it’s a try out and the girl lets him think that. The reasons that women do this generally are:
    1. She wants to reject him but can’t either because she can’t muster up the nerve or is afraid of the fallout.
    2. She honestly doesn’t know whether she’s attracted to him or not. Or she wants to be attracted to him cause he’s a good guy but try as she might she isn’t. Or she doesn’t want to foreclose the possibility of ever getting together with him even if right now she is more interested in pursuing other opportunities.
    3. She enjoys the attention and/or the perks.

    I think guys (including myself) tend to fixate on the third option because it makes him look like the biggest victim.

    As opposed to what some say, it is not always the case that she is out of his league and/or is physically unattracted to him. More than once, I’ve seen guys shafted in this manner eventually get a shot. Notably, though, it almost always occurs after the process has run its course, he’s moved on, and their paths cross again. I’ve never seen this result in a marriage, however.

  19. trumwill says:

    Peter, in which situations do you think that women should be shamed?

  20. Peter says:

    One possible reason for some of the confusion regarding LJBF’ing is the fact that men tend to be less able than women to pick up on hints and suggestions and nonverbal cues in general. This is especially true with respect to nerds, indeed the inability to get hints etc. may be one of the hallmarks of nerdiness.

    What happens is the situation in which the woman drops hints that the Gates of the Secret Garden are to remain shut, but the man – once again, especially if he’s a nerd – doesn’t catch onto them and thinks he had a chance, eventually coming to the conclusion that the woman led him on. It’s especially unfortunate because the man’s not likely to be the sort to have many other options.

    Peter, in which situations do you think that women should be shamed?

    A situation in which the woman (a) has no romantic interest in the man, (b) knows the man thinks he has a chance with her, (c) is aware that the man hasn’t caught onto whatever hints she’s made, and (d) is unwilling to come right out and level with the man. If the man is spending a lot of money on her, all the worse.

  21. trumwill says:

    Would you advocate holding to that same standard guys that have sex with girls despite knowing that she wants a relationship, she is having sex with him in the hopes of enticing him into such, and that he is not really actually interested in a relationship with her?

    Or you would you blame her for her unrealistic expectations and/or likely fixation on alphas and exonerate him because it’s kind of unrealistic to expect a single guy to turn away a ready and willing sexual partner?

  22. Peter says:

    Would you advocate holding to that same standard guys that have sex with girls despite knowing that she wants a relationship, she is having sex with him in the hopes of enticing him into such, and that he is not really actually interested in a relationship with her?

    No, that wouldn’t be acceptable, either.

    I have no idea how common this situation is, my guess is that it isn’t nearly as common as the classic LJBF’ing, but that’s just a guess.

  23. rob says:

    Trumwill, I think LJBF fits in as some guys think it is the opposite of casual sex, ie. a relationship without sex. The analogy fails because (so I’ve heard) women like having sex with men they want to have sex with, a sexless relationship is not what they want from a relationship. Also, people who are not homosexual form same-sex friendships. A friendship is not a chaste relationship: it is a different beast.

    The problem comes from people thinking, or deciding later that LJBF was a tryout. It’s a way a woman tells someone that she does want to date them, but would like to be friends. Sometimes it’s a lie, and she does not want to be friends, but maybe just not be enemies.

    There isn’t anything wrong with wanting friends, even attractive women wanting friends. There is something wrong with using people. Maybe the balance of interest in an LJBF friendship is so one-sided that someone will always manipulated.

    Now being friends with someone you are interested in may not be a good a idea for you. Or sometimes isn’t a good idea, depending on the circumstances. Isn’t that a decision best left to you? It requires some self-awareness and honesty though. Avoid feeling used by not doing stuff for friends you want sleep with that you would not do for guy friends.

    Not to mention every “pickup guru” says having female friends is important: social proof, feedback, pretty girls have pretty friends…Like stone said, interacting with attractive members of the opposite sex is enjoyable in itself.

    Well every “pickup guru” who does not focus on the fantasy market of guys who simultaneously claim that they’re getting laid like crasy* and that there needs to be a beta revolution so that they can get laid some day. (Here’s a clue: dudes who are getting ‘tang don’t make 30+ comments on R****y’s website every day.

    *I did not misspell crazy. Crazy with an s? Crazy isn’t spelled with an s! Exactly, crasy is crazy, only more so.

  24. ? says:

    Would you advocate holding to that same standard guys that have sex with girls despite knowing that she wants a relationship, she is having sex with him in the hopes of enticing him into such, and that he is not really actually interested in a relationship with her?

    I should point out (and you knew I would say this) that a woman who wants a “relationship” has the option of holding out for actual marriage. I’m not sure what the analogue would be for a man threatened with exile to friendville.

    That said, LJBF hasn’t been much of a problem for me personally. I’ve only had a girl say that to me once, and it was a huge relief when she did.

  25. trumwill says:

    Peter,

    I would actually speculate that the other situation (girl gives sex to noncommittal guy in hopes of winning him over) is probably more common. On the other hand, I think that situation is less likely to carry on as long without it blowing up in their faces. Back on the first hand, though, even if it does go on as long, she’s given herself more intimately into the failed situation and has “committed” to him in a way that the guy hasn’t.

  26. trumwill says:

    Rob,

    As long as a guy is at peace with the fact that it’s not going to happen, I don’t have any problem with him maintaining the friendship. The trick is to know whether or not he’s truly comfortable with the realities of the situation. The question I would ask a friend who asks me what to do would be “If she found a great guy, what would that change?” If it would only hinder the logistics, I figure he’s probably good to go. If it would change more than logistics and if he would be less inclined to want to hang out with her, then he’s likely still holding out some sort of hope.

  27. trumwill says:

    Phi,

    Sexual morality aside, a woman that saves herself for marriage is putting herself at substantial disadvantage in the relationship marketplace. Tactically, holding out for sex until you’ve gotten a level of commitment is probably a better strategy than not (at least amongst guys I know), but holding out for marriage will more often than not result in the guy pursuing relationships with women that are more likely to have sex with them over the course of that relationship.

    At any rate, guy can avoid the above-mentioned situation fairly easily himself. He simply needs to ask the girl out and if she doesn’t say yes, tell her the offer remains open if she changes her mind and then treat her as he would if she had said a flat-out “no”, which is probably what her noncommittal response actually was.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

If you are interested in subscribing to new post notifications,
please enter your email address on this page.